Abstract Title:

Propolis reduces the stemness of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Abstract Source:

Arch Oral Biol. 2021 Feb 19 ;125:105087. Epub 2021 Feb 19. PMID: 33639480

Abstract Author(s):

Felipe Nör, Carolina Nör, Letícia W Bento, Zhaocheng Zhang, Walter A Bretz, Jacques E Nör

Article Affiliation:

Felipe Nör


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of Brazilian propolis on head and neck cancer stem cells in vitro.

METHODS: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines (UM-SCC-17B and UM-SCC-74A), human keratinocytes (HK), and primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) were treated with 0.5, 5.0, or 50 μg/mL green, brown or red Brazilian propolis or vehicle control for 24, 36, and 72 h. Cell viability was evaluated by Sulforhodamine B assay. Western blots evaluated expression of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers (i.e. ALDH, CD44, Oct-4, Bmi-1) and flow cytometry was performed to determine the impact of propolis in the fraction of CSC, defined as ALDHCD44cells.

RESULTS: propolis significantly reduced cell viability of HNSCC and HDMEC cells, but not HK. Notably, red propolis caused a significant reduction in the percentage of CSC, reduced the number of orospheres, and downregulated the expression of stem cell markers.

CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data demonstrate an anti-CSC effect of propolis, and suggest that propolis (i.e. red propolis) might be beneficial for patients with head and neck cancer.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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